Check out the new digs–and the new crew

Today is the day.

Today is the day that Seed has decided to launch a revamped version of ScienceBlogs, complete with a spiffy new front page. It’s long overdue, as the front page as it was had caused a number of frustrations, not the least of which is that bloggers whose posts are not as frequent would see their posts pushed off the front page in a matter of hours. Similarly the lack of any real categorization of the blogs, made it a less than ideal format. It worked OK when there were a few of us. We all knew that it couldn’t work when it came time to add a significant number of new bloggers, hence the redesign.

And that time is here. Joining the ScienceBlogs stable are a number of new bloggers, some established and some new. Because there are so many new ones, I’m not going to list them all, but I will pick out a few that I recommend in particular that you check out. For example:

Mark at Good Math, Bad Math (old blog here; new improved ScienceBlogs blog here) has made the move over. This particularly acquisition by ScienceBlogs fills me with pride, because I had no small hand in Mark’s getting started in blogging in the first place. A while back, when I wrote a post debunking of the bad science and bad epidemiology used by Mark and David Geier to “prove” that the rates of autism are going down now that thimerosal-containing vaccines have been removed from the market (they aren’t), Mark jumped in with a comment, then started his blog and piled on the Geiers. Since then, he’s rapidly made a name for himself in the blogosphere debunking bad math everywhere he finds it, even when doing so goes against his own biases, as in the case of his deconstruction of RFK Jr.’s article claiming that the 2004 election was “stolen.” I’ve never been a blogfather before (at least, not to the best of my knowledge), and my first known blog offspring is doing the old guy proud. Of course, he’s wandered into mathematical topics that I might once have been able to understand (I was actually quite good at math once and took advanced level calculus in college) but am now a bit mystified by.

There’s also Abel Pharmboy at Terra Sigillata (old blog here; new improved ScienceBlogs blog here). Although not as new a blogger as Mark, Abel’s already made a name for himself by filling a truly unique niche that is complementary to mine. You see, he’s a natural products pharmacologist and had dedicated his professional career to studying herbal medications and natural products as therapies for various diseases. Given that, he brings a perspective that I can’t for the simple reason that my understanding of these issues is not as deep as his, and he’s developing quite nicely as a blogger. I’ve tried to send him traffic and give him advice (both wanted and unwanted, I’m guessing). We even met briefly at the AACR Meeting in April, and I hope to run into him again at various conferences or perhaps even give a talk at his home institution.

You know after reading over those last two paragraphs, all I could think is: Damn, I sound old. And I’ve only been blogging a year and a half. I guess that in the blogosphere that makes me middle aged at least. Ah, well, let’s continue…

A couple of great medblogger additions to make me feel less lonely as the sole physician here are The Cheerful Oncologist (old blog here; new improved ScienceBlogs blog here) and The Examining Room of Doctor Charles (old blog here; new improved ScienceBlogs blog here). Both are a lot more literary in their styles than I am (and definitely a lot less persnickety). Both also tend to concentrate more on the human side of medicine than the scientific. Some of the Cheerful Oncologist’s stuff can be quite lyrical, and Dr. Charles demonstrates a wry wit and style in his stories.

A couple of other notable bloggers joining the ScienceBlogs crew are Carl Zimmer whose blog The Loom (old blog here; new improved ScienceBlogs blog here) has been around since 2003, making him an elder statesman among sciencebloggers. He still maintains a damned fine blog after all this time, too. Finally, yet another accomplished megablogger, Bora Zikovic (a.k.a. Coturnix) is joining us. Bora has had multiple blogs, including Science and Politics, Circadiana, and The Magic School Bus, among others. He’s now moving his scienceblogging efforts to a new blog A Blog Around the Clock.

I’ve read some of the rest on a semi-regular basis (The Island of Doubt, Evolving Thoughts, Mike the Mad Biologist, and The Questionable Authority, for example) and I look forward to sampling them in more depth and to checking out the new blogs that I hadn’t heard of before. Bora, ever the blog afficianado, has done me and everyone else here a favor and listed all the new ScienceBloggers who have joined, so that I don’t have to.

A hearty welcome to all the new ScienceBloggers! And stay tuned, everyone. Our Seed masters inform us that they’re not through yet. They’ll be adding even more bloggers over the next several months, making the place to be for the best in–well–science blogging.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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